The third quadrennial In-Woods Expo of forestry and logging equipment drew over 1,100 loggers to a 300-acre managed forest near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 19-21, to view and evaluate timber harvesting and processing equipment in action on large demo sites representative of challenging logging conditions.
Including the 400 high school and junior high students who enjoyed a supervised educational visit the morning of the opening day and another 650 miscellaneous attendees, total participation approached 2,200, according to In-Woods Expo sponsors, the Forest Resources Association and the Arkansas Timber Producers Association.
“We are always pleased to welcome anyone interested in timber harvesting technology and sustainable forest management to view our exhibitors’ equipment in action,” commented In-Woods Expo co-manager Larry Boccarossa, of ATPA. “But what was notable this year was the very high proportion of logging professionals and family members in the total attendance.” He pointed out that several attendees actually inked major equipment purchase contracts over the course of the three days.
With the theme “New Growth, New Iron: Delivering Sustainability,” In-Woods Expo 2011 showcased 76 exhibitors on sites ranging up to 16 acres on a working forest near Hot Springs, Arkansas, owned and managed by Weyerhaeuser. Over $80 million worth of logging and timber processing equipment was at the site, to test demanding customer expectations in field conditions. Equipment demos showed integrated logging systems, with a strong representation of in-woods chipping and grinding equipment.
“The rainy weather on our second day may have depressed attendance somewhat,” noted In-Woods Expo’s other co-manager, FRA President Richard Lewis, “but through it all, the right people showed up and found the opportunities they needed to evaluate future equipment options.”
Visitors included a delegation from Russia and Finland, as well as loggers from the Pacific Coast and the Lake States, and from throughout the South.
The In-Woods Expo hosts were also pleased to welcome the Discovery Channel’s “Swamp Logger” star Bobby Goodson and his family, with their television production team in tow. Mr. Goodson participated in the Prentice Loader Championship at the site, drawing a respectable time, although Johnathon Creasy of Iron City, Tennessee took away the prize with an outstanding run just under two minutes, twenty-five seconds.
Lewis praised the strong support from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Forestry Association, and above all the hours and skills volunteered by members of the Arkansas Timber Producers Association in developing Weyerhaeuser’s excellent site and in working with exhibitors during and after set-up.
“We all owe a huge debt of thanks to the creativity and commitment our exhibitors brought to this edition of the In-Woods Expo,” Lewis stressed. “They fit their iron to the features of the landscape and made the opportunity work for them.”